What is the statute of limitations for MVA claims in Alberta?
A: In Alberta, Canada, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident (MVA) claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two years from the date the accident occurred to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, there are specific circumstances where this time frame may vary:
Minor claimants: If the injured party is a minor (under the age of 18) at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations period typically begins once they turn 18. This means that they have until their 20th birthday to file a claim. However, it's essential to consult with a lawyer, as the guardian or parent may still need to take action on the child's behalf within the standard two-year time frame.
Injured party's mental incapacity: If the injured party is mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations period may be extended. The clock generally starts running once they regain their mental capacity. Again, it's crucial to consult with a lawyer to understand the specifics of this situation.
No-Fault Benefits (also known as Section B Benefits): In Alberta, all motor vehicle insurance policies include no-fault benefits, which provide coverage for certain medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The deadline for applying for these benefits is typically within 10 days of the accident, and there may be other specific notice requirements depending on the circumstances.
Unknown at-fault party: In cases where the identity of the at-fault party (e.g., a hit-and-run driver) is unknown, you may still be able to file a claim under the Uninsured Motorist Coverage in your own insurance policy. The statute of limitations for these claims can be different and may be subject to additional notice requirements. It is essential to consult with a lawyer to understand the specific deadlines and requirements in such cases.
It is crucial to adhere to the statute of limitations when pursuing an MVA claim in Alberta. Failing to file a claim within the appropriate time frame may result in losing your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. It's highly recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an MVA to ensure your claim is filed within the required time frame and to help you navigate the complex legal process.
Please note that this information is intended for general guidance and may not account for all the nuances and specific circumstances of your case. It's essential to consult with a qualified lawyer in Alberta to obtain accurate and tailored advice for your MVA claim.